Malaysia: First Polio Case In Three Decades Reported By Health Ministry

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Malaysia registers its first polio case after 19 years. A baby boy from Sabah state has been diagnosed with polio and has been admitted to a hospital nearby.

Written By Digital Desk | Mumbai | Updated On:

Malaysia records its first polio case after a three-month-old infant tested positive on Friday, December 6. The Health Ministry confirmed in a statement that the baby boy from Tuaran in Malaysia’s Sabah state on Borneo island was admitted to the hospital after being tested positive with fever and muscle weakness.

The infant is being treated in isolation currently. 

As per the WHO, Malaysia was declared polio-free in 2000. The last polio case was reported back in 1992. Between 1980 and 1990, nine cases of polio were identified in Malaysia. 

READ | More Polio Cases Now Caused By Vaccine Than By Wild Virus

Polio (Poliomyelitis) is an infectious viral disease that mainly affects young children. According to the World Health Organisation, the virus is transmitted by person-to-person and it spreads mainly through the faecal-oral route or by a common vehicle like contaminated water or food and multiplies in the intestine. From there, it can invade the nervous system and can cause paralysis. 


Cases due to wild poliovirus have decreased by over 99 percent since 1988 from 3,50,000 cases to 33 cases in 2018. 

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Polio symptoms include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck, pain in the limbs. It can cause paralysis.
The disease can only be prevented by immunization as it does not have any cure. 

In November this year, as per the WHO reports, global leaders convened at the Reaching the Last Mile Forum in Abu Dhabi and committed to eradicating polio. They pledged US$ 2.6 billion as part of the first phase of the funding to implement the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s Polio Endgame Strategy 2019-2023. 

Currently, Afganistan and Pakistan are the only two countries with wild polio circulation.

READ | UN Says 1st Local Polio Case Found In Zambia Since 1995

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